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History 205 - Being an Athlete in Nba

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Jalen E. Jones

History 205

Assignment 13/14

16 April 2018

        In today’s day and age, the National Basketball Association is a very prominent league that incorporates some of the best athletes in the world who have worked extremely hard to get where they are. The NBA includes 30 teams from different areas that have top notch facilities, great fan bases, and hardworking front offices as well. “Pro basketball, still in its infancy as a national endeavor, laid the foundation for growth and popular appeal in the 1950s, and two of the key developments were the entry of African American players into the league and the stardom of a white player, the Boston Celtics’ Bob Cousy… the entry of black players enhanced the fan base as the racial comparisons and speculations that had gone on for years were now realized as the highest level of play” (Gems 280). In addition to that, there are some superstars in this league who stand out from the pack and make a difference to society on a variety of different levels; levels that include impacting cities, communities, families, sick individuals, the homeless, and even firms. One person though, who has made a big impact on my life goes by the name of Russell Westbrook. Russell Westbrook, out of UCLA was a first round draft pick in 2008 to the Seattle Supersonics who then relocated to Oklahoma and is now an All-Star Point Guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Someone who is known for his demeanor and attitude has a big impact on people, and whether it be good or bad its very influential and I aspire to be like him someday.

        Being an athlete myself, I look up to Westbrook dearly, and one of the main reason is his attitude. When you watch him play, he is very emotional on the court, plays with a lot of intensity and leaves everything on the court like it was Game 7 in the NBA Finals. With that being said, the artifact that is near and dear to my heart is my signed ticket stub and arm sleeve with Westbrooks autograph. This ticket stub holds a lot of value to me most importantly because it captures a moment in time where I had the opportunity to witness my role model in reality compete against other players and play his game. Like I mentioned before, being an athlete I am a student of the game so I had the chance to not watch and see what I could pick up on, but also get a feel for the way he communicated to his teammates on the court, shot his free throws, or yelled at the referee when they made a bad call. It was all a learning experience so having that ticket stub was a way of remembering that moment in time where I was on the way of connecting with my daily motivation. In addition to that, the arm sleeve I have is significant because Westbrook himself wears an arm sleeve and he inspired me to where one, so after the game when I had the privilege of meeting him and asking him to sign the stub and sleeve, it was a sense of confidece I gained from the sleeve. I took it back home and wore it in the games and it have me that motivation like no other knowing the person I aspired to be like personally wrote his name on mine and told me to keep up the hard work.

        Having these items wasn’t the only thing that kept me motivated or impacted my life. Growing up and watching Westbrook play, my family seen the time I spent pouring myself into making my game on and off the court better and they invested into what I wanted. They watched his highlight videos, interviews, and the few times he was on the talk show and they started to care for him just as much as me. So much, that they went out of there way to get me tickets to go experience him in person. They knew what it meant to them just as well as me, so leading up to the end of the game they made sure it was worth while to not only watch him but to meet him afterwards and I can’t thank them enough. To this day, my parents value both of these items signed by Westbrook highly and the ticket stub sits in a glass frame on the wall next to my basketball picture, and the sleeve is placed next to my others that don’t get worn anymore. Something that I can take from this is the fact that Westbrook planted a seed me and my family can use to grow together down the line. My dad once mentioned how the sleeve I have signed can be given to my children someday and used to show the care Westbrook has for his fans and motivation he can cater to others. With that being said, its something that will be held highly and passed down from generation to generation.



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